The Scattered Isles
A race of reclusive giants, the gol are a mystery to the majority of the people of the Scattered Isles. There is little of the gol in the annals of history, the majority of the major events of the world have simply passed by the stonekin. Gol live on and around the great mountain of Kau’ak, or Spirit Spire. The mountain is immeasurably sacred to the gol, as it is both home and heaven to them. When a gol is young, they are visited by the seers, who read the patterns of the child’s skin to determine who they were in their past lives, and who they will be in this one. After this reading, the gol is taken to their new home on the mountain, where the seers believe the young gol’s spirit belongs. The life a gol leads is inexorably tied to where on the mountain they live.
A typical gol is larger than the largest orc. Most stand between 7 and 8 feet tall and weigh between 280 and 340 pounds. Unlike with most other races, there is no appreciable difference in height or weight between male and female gol. Gol have thick, hard skin, in a variety of earthy tones: grays and browns are most common, though gol of nearly black or white skin are sometimes seen. Patches of darker and lighter skin cover a gol from head to toe; gol seers use these patterns to read young gol’s past lives, and determine their future. Gol have no hair, and eyes of single, solid colors, usually green, yellow, or brown. A gol’s arms, shoulders, torso and head often bear hard, stony growths, ranging in shape from sharp spikes to smooth pebbles.
Gol wear light clothing, to display the patterns that show their pasts and destinies. Tattoos are nearly unheard of in gol society, as writing in ones skin is likened to trying to change past and fate. Piercing are uncommon among the gol, as their stony skin makes their application quite difficult.
Most gol live on the lower parts of Kau’ak, nearer the base. Here life is not unlike that of a rustic human village. Farmers and hunters provide food, artisans work their crafts, and children are taught their future trades. Some small tribes even roam the hillsides in a nomadic lifestyle akin to the orcs.
Fewer (though still many) gol live on the cliffs and sides of the mountain. Here, more enlightened spirits are brought to further their connection to the spiritual world. Monasteries carved into the mountainsides house monks and seers, traditions very rarely seen by outsiders.
Nearer the peak of mountain live sages and grandmasters, great gol that, through their past lives and present teachings, have nearly reached complete enlightenment and unity with the world. These masters pass their wisdom and teachings to those on the mountainside, who share their teachings to those at the mountain’s base.
The very peak is said to be the gate to heaven. When a sage or master has achieved true and complete enlightenment, he or she completes the climb to the top of the mountain, and is gifted with great truth and peace. What happens then is unknown, but this final journey is the greatest achievement for which a gol can strive.
For a gol to attempt to go farther up the mountain than the seers have prescribed is a horrible taboo. This, along with other terrible crimes is punishable by banishment and exile. To leave Kau-ak, by force or choice, is to remove oneself from the climb of the Spirit Spire, to halt the advance toward enlightenment. Occasionally the sages near the peak will assign a journey off of Kau’ak to a gol. These gol are allowed to return when their task is complete, but they must carry with them a shard of the Spirit Spire to guide their spirit back home should they die while away.
There exist small populations of gol away from Kau’ak, either exiled or born off of the Spirit Spire. These gol usually adopt the customs of the races they live among.
The gol have no real enemies among the races of the Aegis Sea. They have little contact with humans or elves, and sparse though friendly relations with their orcish and gnomish neighbors. There seems to be an inexplicable distrust between the gol and the firmly isolationist sea elves, but contact between the two races is nearly non-existent.
Alignment and Religion
Gol tend toward good or occasionally neutral alignments. Those living higher on the Spirit Spire tend to be more lawful. Evil or chaotic gol are rare, and almost always live away from the Kau-ak. The gol of Kau-ak follow the Way of the World Spirit, a set of simple tenets that prescribe the path to enlightenment and peace. Worship of deities is very rare among the Gol, but those living among humans tend to favor Sondra and Iliona.
The Way of the World Spirit
- Life is balance. To end a life without necessity is to tip the scale.
- Truth is peace. To tell a lie is to war with the world.
- Love is freedom. Hate binds the heart.
- Anything given has cost of gratitude, anything stolen has cost of self.
Adventuring Gol have either been given a quest by the sages of the upper mountain, or are outcasts from gol society. Outcast gol adventure for many reasons, gold, excitement, and status among them. Quests from gol sages vary greatly in scope and specificity, though they are always considered of great importance. Most gol are Monks or Oracles.
Male Names: Aukan, Eglath, Gauthak, Ilikan, Keothi, Lo-Kag, Thotham, Vimak
Female Names: Gae-Al, Kuori, Manneo, Nalla, Orilo, Paavu, Thalai, Uthal, Vaunea.
+4 Strength, -2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence: Gol are strong and powerful, but not graceful, and not learned.
Medium Size: Gol are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size, but see powerful-build below.
Normal Speed: Gol have a base speed of 30 feet.
Giant Subtype: A gol has the giant subtype and is counted as a humanoid (giant) for any effect related to race.
Darkvision: A gol can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Mountaineer: A Gol has a +2 to climb and survival checks, thanks to their mountain heritage.
Powerful Build: Whenever a gol is subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for CMB, the gol is treated as large if doing so is advantageous to him. A gol is also considered to be large when determining whether a creature’s special attacks based on size (such as improved grab or swallow whole) can affect him. A gol can use weapons designed for a large creature without the -2 penalty (but the weapon size increases from light to one-handed or one-handed to two-handed). However, his space and reach remain those of a creature of his actual size. Additionally, a gol’s natural or unarmed attacks deal damage as from large creature. The benefits of this racial trait stack with the effects of powers, abilities, and spells that change the subject’s size category.
Languages: Gol begin play speaking Common and Gol. Gol with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Gnome, Orc, Terran.
Rocky Skin [Racial]
Benefit: You gain a +2 natural armor bonus as a result of your natural hardiness and stone-like skin.
Wield Oversized Weapon [Racial]
Prerequisites: Big grip racial ability, Str 19+
Benefit: You can wield weapons designed for creatures one size larger without treating the weapon as a heavier category.
Earth Sense [Racial]
You are in tune with the earth beneath you.
Prerequisites: Gol, Con 13, Wis 13.
Benefit: As long as you are touching the ground, you can take a move action to sense the number of creatures within 20 feet that are also touching the ground and the direction to each one. You cannot pinpoint the location of any creature with this feat.
Stony Step [Racial]
The earth recognizes its kinship with you and does not impede your movement.
Benefit: Whenever you move, you may move through 5 feet of earth- or stone-based difficult terrain (rubble, stone stairs, and so on) each round as if it were normal terrain. The effects of this feat stack with similar feats such as Acrobatic Steps and Nimble Moves. This feat allows you to take a 5-foot step into this kind of difficult terrain.